Association of Law Teachers Archive

Address at time of writing c/o Mr J Hodgson, Hon Secretary, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, Burton St, Nottingham NG1 4BU. Tel. 0115 948 6871. Fax 0115 948 6878. The ALT regularly publishes a directory which lists current officers and their addresses.

The Association of Law Teachers (ALT) was conceived in 1965 by a group of law teachers from institutions other than universities who met at Taplow in Buckinghamshire to discuss the particular problems of teaching law faced by such institutions. The following year a steering committee met in London to officially establish the ALT to represent the growing interest in law in Regional Colleges of Technology, further education colleges and schools. Initial funding came from the publishers Sweet & Maxwell. In its Constitution, the objects of the ALT were laid down as:-

a) to further the advancement, development, study, understanding, use and reform of the educational aspects of law and its teaching;

b) to represent and make known the views of its members upon matters relating to or affecting their professional interests as teachers of law;

c) to establish and support or aid in the establishment and support of associations and institutions calculated to benefit the objects of the Association or the members of the Association or the dependants or connections of such members and to subscribe to or guarantee money for charitable or benevolent objects or for any public, general or useful object;

d) to do all things consistent with these objects considered by the Association or its Committee to be necessary, conducive or incidental to the promotion of the professional, social or general welfare of its members.

The present membership of the ALT is drawn from teachers in higher (largely, but not exclusively the new universities), further and tertiary education. It focuses primarily on the pedagogy and androgogy of law, teaching and learning methods and assessment, and fosters research in these fields, including the 1993 and 1997 Harris surveys of legal education (Harris, P and Bellerby, S. with Leighton, P and Hodgson, J, A Survey of Law Teaching 1997, ALT, 1993; Harris, P and Jones, M, "A Survey of Law Schools in the United Kingdom", (1997), The Law Teacher 38). Until about 1990 the ALT was the only representative body for Polytechnic law teachers, and in the 1970s and 1980s it also provided a general forum for discussion of doctrinal legal issues. This remains a subsidiary function.

The ALT's activities are run by a Committee comprising an elected Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, plus five elected members and some co-opted members. Regular events include the Upjohn Lecture, the Annual Conference and one day conferences. The ALT makes representations to a variety of official bodies concerning all aspects of law teaching, and is also represented on a number of these bodies. It has close links with the SPTL, which represents university law teachers. The ALT produces a regular Bulletin and a Journal, and a history of the Association has been written by a former President, Dr S B Marsh (The Association of Law Teachers: the first 25 years, ALT, 1990).

The surviving archive of the ALT was transferred to the Records of Legal Education Archives by the Secretary, John Hodgson, of Nottingham Trent University, in 1996. Some related papers and printed material were deposited by Dr Marsh and by Professor James Read of SOAS in 1997.

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